Freedigitalphotos.net/Image courtesy of Jeane Claire Maarbes. Some things will always be more than important - non-negotiables.
This may sound mundane, but non-negotiable values to need to include maintaining your health in as optimal condition as it can be, because without that you can’t fulfil the absolute needs at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy. Maslow’s hierarchy is a foundational, ladder formation of what humans need for survival.
At the bottom are the basic needs, and, until these are met, the next rung of the ladder can’t be actualised. For example, food, water, air are needed before humans can find money and shelter.
So there are certain lines you obviously would not cross if you wanted to survive like waste money you do not have and find yourself without money to pay rent.
So, yes air, food and water are necessary but why did I say optimal health and nutrition should become non-negotiable? Well, because, if you truly want to reach the stage of self-actualisation, which I'll describe below, you can not go that long or that far on sub-par fuel. It's going to catch up with you eventually.
The next rung in the ladder is belonging. In social groups of friends, where there can be in-groups and out-groups this is not always predictable. Also, in families, unfortunately there can be favourites. However, in my eyes anyway, ‘blood is thicker than water’. There are certain non-negotiables with me, like, for me I like to talk to her every day.
As I’ve become older, matters that used to take up my mental and physical energy and time have taken a step into the background, to be replaced by values that are non-negotiable. For example, doing the best I can by my family. I can’t undo mistakes that I have made, but I can try to be the best daughter, sister, sister-and-law and aunty in the future.
Above this is self-esteem and self-respect. For each person this is different, and is a natural offspringing from belonging - what can you contribute to the group you belong to? Even if you find you affiliate better with animals? What can you do to make their lives better...no matter how small a contribution, it's what life is all about.
Standing up for what I believe in – for example, equality and fair treatment of all is something I value. I try to value self-improvement. For example, I thought someone else was being proud the other day, when, in fact, I am guilty of this fault. Knowing I am a human being who needs to grow and to continue to work on this every day is one of my goals.
An absolute non-negotiable for me is spirituality –a belief in a higher power, and, related to this, gratitude for all that God brings into my life, and a trust in that.
Finally, self-actualisation is on top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Humans, and that’s a knowing that you’ve become everything you can be in terms of what constitutes self-esteem and self-respect for you.
In corny terms, it’s “all your dreams have come true”, but there’s nothing wrong with aspiring for that. It’s not a waste of time.
For example, I start the day with prayer, writing in my gratitude and then call my mother. These are non-negotiables and form the core values of my life.
A good way to become everything you want to be is to write it down. What would I like someone to say at my ninetieth birthday? That I was kind, a good listener, generous...It would be different for everyone.
Work back on the things that would give you self-esteem and self-respect that generated that.
What kind of group could you belong to nurture those attributes?
Are you secure financially and where you live, and have you got what you need to develop your career along those lines? For example, to be a freelance writer I would like to buy a digital camera so that I can take photos.
As for the first level of Maslow's Hierarchy, I can do my best to drink enough (preferably water) and maintain good nutrition.